Mini-golf portion of Libertyville Sports Complex back on market
The proposed sale of a small but highly visible portion of the Libertyville Sports Complex at the northeast corner of Route 45 and Peterson Road is off the table.
However, plans to develop an adjoining 19-acre driving range for two industrial/warehouse buildings continues, although the closing date for the sale has been extended to Dec. 31.
The sites have been closed in anticipation of proposed developments that were delayed and not finalized.
Both properties were packaged three years ago for sale to Paragon Real Estate LLC. In February 2020, the sale agreement was amended to bring Midwest Industrial Funds Inc., into the transaction.
Paragon, through an assignee known as 45 Peterson LLC, was going to acquire the 3.66-acre corner long occupied by the closed Aloha Falls mini-golf course and develop a gas station. However, due to difficulty securing Illinois Department of Transporation approvals for access to Peterson and Route 45 in the heavily traveled area, the gas station plan is out.
"The village would own the land on the corner," said John Spoden, village community development director. "We'll have to just wait out the economy for a use that doesn't need direct access."
A fourth change to the sales agreement, approved Tuesday by the village board, removed the assignee as a buyer and allows the driving range development to proceed.
"We've been talking about this for a very long time and this will help to move things forward so it's certainly appropriate," village Trustee Pete Garrity said.
The Libertyville Sports Complex is comprised of three parts: Family Entertainment Center (mini-golf); Golf Learning Center (driving range); and the Indoor Sports Complex (main building). The facilities long have been a financial drain and have been subsidized by general funds. Village officials for years have wanted to unload the first two operations, which comprise 31 of the site's 48 acres.
In May, the two sites again topped the village's redevelopment priority list. Doing so would put them on the tax rolls, create jobs and generate $5.38 million from the sale.
Midwest has proposed building two industrial/warehouse structures on a speculative basis. The village had been in a final plan review for the industrial portion of the site but held off until the outcome of the IDOT discussion was determined, Spoden said.
"Now, we can go back to the plan commission with a final plan," he said. "We want Midwest to move ahead with their portion of the development."
Meanwhile, work continues to reopen the main building July 1. The facility, which closed due to the pandemic in March 2020, has two full-sized indoor soccer fields, multiple indoor courts, a climbing wall, a fitness area and other features.
The village this past April approved a two-year lease agreement with Canlan Sports USA Corp. to operate the cavernous facility and assume the risk for any profit or loss.
The lease calls for Canlan to pay monthly rent of $20,000 beginning in December, and gives the company an option to buy the facility within two years for $3.75 million.
By leasing the building, the village was required to redeem the outstanding tax exempt bonds used to build it. That was done and a new issue of nearly $11.3 million was bid.
Because the 1.41% interest rate was much lower than that of the bonds that were redeemed, the village will save an estimated $1.5 million over the next 10 years.